Barrett & Barrett Wine
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon | Calistoga, Napa Valley
Barrett and Barrett, two renowned & distinct wine stylists working together, finally, is really what this wine is all about. The result is a handcrafted, limited edition Napa Valley wine that reflects our two different, yet complementary, winemaking styles.
Bo is responsible for "farming for flavor" throughout the growing season. Bo’s experience growing Cabernet in these Calistoga vineyards since 1973 draws upon decades of experience to get the grapes to their maximum potential for each harvest. Whether it’s a very hot vintage or a slow cool one, after 35 years Bo has probably seen it before and knows how to get the grapes ready for the vintage. Once we get into harvest, we pretty much agree on the style we are going for reflecting the weather and growing season.
2009 was an excellent, relatively cool growing season until September when we had excellent warm, but not hot, weather. We started picking the fruit on September 16 from the very rocky volcanic soils on the southwest facing slopes of Mt. St. Helena, Calistoga. These vineyards are very shy bearing (even before the gourmet Cab eating bear arrived in 2011, and was trapped and relocated in 2012) and the 2009 production on these steep hillside vineyards was only 2.23 t/acre. For the Barrett and Barrett Cabernet Sauvignon, we go even further to make something special. We handselect the little sections of the very best grapes, vine by vine. With 20 years of experience growing Cab at this vineyard, we know the most unique and special little sections, which have the lowest yielding tiny berry and stressed vines to create the super-selected wine we desire. In 2009, the vines we picked this wine from were actually at 1.12 tons/per acre: a reduction by half of the already impressively low yields. Our winemaking in the vineyard comes down to our personal selection of each vine and is carried through to impeccable detail in the winemaking. They may be small in size, but the berries from these 20 year old vines are key to bringing a big presence to this wine in your glass.
Just looking at this wine you know you are in for something profound it is extremely dark all the way to the edge of the glass, opaque purple red dense color. As one would expect from this low yielding year it’s a bit tight at first, so it needs a couple of good swirls to get up speed. Then you get really intense aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon; rich black fruits, berry and plum. The nose carries on being very opulent and layered with lots of mineral and cedar. As we expect from this concentrated wine upon release, it is very big on the palate, it has massive spicy briary mouth-filling texture. Initially, it shows extremely intense cassis, which just expands and coats the mouth and goes on and on. This vineyard always expresses a spicy character like 5 spice, cardamom and cedar; but in this ’09 it’s incredibly concentrated. The finish is lengthy and returns to be dominated with the persistent cassis extract theme. The care with which we grew and made this wine is evident all the way through, from the distinctive vineyard character to the elegant stylish winemaking reflecting the mighty 2009 vintage.